An Ohio woman was charged with involuntary manslaughter after the death of a 12-year-old boy due to a fentanyl overdose during a sleepover in her flat. The 60-year-old woman was held responsible for the overdose death as she had left the kids unsupervised.
The woman, Sheila Hutchins, also had child endangering charges slapped on her for the death of Kanye Champelle in July 2017. She remains held on a bond of $50,000 after a Franklin County Municipal Court hearing in October 2017.
The police are yet to ascertain how the boy accessed the powerful synthetic opioid during the birthday party. It is also not clear who owned the drugs. It is alleged that the boy got the drug from the top of the refrigerator and ingested it, unknowingly.
Initially, it was assumed that the boy died from choking on a piece of gum. Later, an Ohio coroner declared that Champelle did not died due to choking, but from an overdose of synthetic fentanyl. The Franklin County coroner also confirmed that there was no sign of injection, and the autopsy could not determine how the contact with the drug had occurred. The cause of the death was examined when the medics removed a wad of gum from the child’s throat.
Fentanyl is a highly potent synthetic opioid, approved for addressing severe pain, typically like that experienced in advanced cancer stages and after chemotherapy. Touted as nearly 50 to 100 times more powerful than morphine, fentanyl has wreaked havoc in the United States by turning up the heat on the already devastating opioid crisis.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), harm is basically done by the illegally manufactured fentanyl in the market. The “most recent cases of fentanyl-related harm, overdose, and death in the U.S. are linked to the illegally made fentanyl,” said the CDC. People tend to use fentanyl because it produces similar effects like heroin. Hence, there is a rampant sale of fentanyl in the gray market. Users often mix it with heroin or cocaine as a combination product to increase the potency of the drug. Many users are not even aware of the concoction and are taken aback by its astounding euphoric effects.
Opioids, including prescription painkillers, heroin, morphine, and fentanyl, killed more than 33,000 people in the U.S. in 2015. Almost 50 percent of these deaths involved a prescription opioid. According to preliminary estimates by the government, fentanyl overdoses alone were responsible for more 20,000 deaths in 2016. This number has risen rapidly from 3,000 in just three years.
A nation tormented by prescription drug abuse and other forms of addictions, has to devise concrete measures to tackle the issue head-on. In line with this view, law enforcement agencies have stepped up measures to fight the ongoing crisis. Careful and determined preventive measures are being taken by all stakeholders to ensure a multi-pronged attack on the problem. Even President Donald Trump plans to officially declare the opioid mess a national emergency early in November this year.
Whether it is an addiction to opioids, alcohol or any other substance, chronic and severe cases are always fatal. If you know someone who is abusing a substance, seek immediate help. The 24/7 Recovery Helpline can help you find the best drug addiction help online. Call our 24/7 alcohol helpline number 855-441-4405 or chat online with our representatives for immediate assistance.